Food security in an urbanising society

Monday, September 4, 2017 to Friday, September 15, 2017

Due to continuing rural-urban migration, over 50% of the world’s population now lives in densely populated urban areas and rely on complex agrifood systems often at risk of failure. This course focuses on how rural production and urban markets can be integrated to assure access to adequate quantities of nutritious food while sustaining the viability of the production areas.

Agricultural production and markets from a city-region perspective

With growing urbanisation, sustainable city-region agri-food systems are essential in ensuring food security. Food production, processing, distribution and consumption should increasingly be integrated into a holistic, systemic and spatial manner. 

Innovative change processes with technical, social and cultural aspects addressing the challenges of complex agrifood systems are gradually becoming integral part of rural and urban planning agendas to better facilitate rural-urban integration.

In this exciting, highly interactive course, participants will be exposed to the latest concepts and international experiences from the wider Wageningen UR community and RUAF brokered to them by the leading experts themselves. Through this network of excellence, participants will be fully acquainted with innovative but very practical tools and concepts related to analysis and design of sustainable city-region food systems.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course participants will:

  • be able to understand and intervene in complex rural-urban planning processes from an integrated, holistic and multi-stakeholder perspective;
  • have a clear picture of the multiple aspects of the interaction between agriculture and the cities and its relation to climate change, food and nutrition security and resilience;
  • be acquainted with the basic principles of the metropolitan food cluster, urban and peri-urban agriculture, urban metabolism and city-region food systems;
  • have strengthened skills to analyse their own situation and design more sustainable solutions.

Course Structure

You will be exposed to a mix of lectures, discussions, group work and field visits that offer theoretical foundations as well as practical approaches to sustainable agrifood systems. Taking the participants’ own real examples as working cases, we will analyse the current situation, explore options that are already available for further development and evaluate new strategies to contribute to the design of sustainable and responsible city-region food systems.

Target audience

Participants of this course will have at least a BSc level and 5 years of professional work experience in areas relevant to the course topic. Proficiency in English is a must.

More information on registration and costs is available here. For any questions, please contact Marion Herens.